As illustrated below, a lot of drivers in Dodgeville take a dubious “short cut” from King St. to Iowa/Bequette by way of W. Leffler instead of taking King St. all the way to Iowa/Bequette. Most of the people taking this short cut are leaving Lands’ End and heading to their homes in the Madison metro area. These folks are not Dodgeville / Iowa County taxpayers. Here’s the problem. W. Leffler has been beat all to hell and is badly in need of resurfacing. All that Lands’ End traffic has contributed mightily to the degradation of W. Leffler. Now, as a bicycle commuter trying to get from Lands’ End to most of the rest of Dodgeville (always a dangerous proposition), it makes sense to use W. Leffler to minimize the amount of time I have to ride my bike on busy King St. and very busy Iowa/Bequette. But W. Leffler is so broken up that for safety reasons I need to ride near the middle of the road—but a steady stream of vehicles takes the short cut down W. Leffler instead of staying on King St. up to convenient entrance ramp to Iowa/Bequette. It is a no-win situation for Dodgeville bicyclists. One solution would be to have W. Leffler dead end at King St. with only a bike-path connector between King St. and W. Leffler, though I suspect that would be quite unpopular in our auto-centric community. Another solution would be to resurface W. Leffler and never let it degrade this much again. Is that too much to ask? It is a short street, after all.
I’m not a big fan of roundabouts, but if ever there was a case for one it would be at the intersections of Iowa/Bequette, N. Main, E. Spring, and W. Spring. In my crude map overlay below, it looks like one building would probably have to be removed. The roundabout would need to be designed to easily accommodate the comings and goings of fire trucks from the nearby fire station. Presently, this “octopus” of an intersection is dangerous, and I completely avoid ever making a left turn there. Why not prohibit all dangerous left turns at these intersections by installing a roundabout where every turn will be a right turn?